Legendary music executive Clive Davis released a life-spanning memoir on Tuesday where he details working with artists like Alicia Keys, Whitney Houston, and Kelly Clarkson. After hearing about what he had to say, Clarkson took to WhoSay to clear the air on any drama the two might have had in the past.
“So I just heard Clive Davis is releasing a memoir and spreading false information about me and my music. I refuse to be bullied and I just have to clear up his memory lapses and misinformation for myself and for my fans. It feels like a violation. Growing up is awesome because you learn you don’t have to cower to anyone – even Clive Davis,” she wrote in a blog post on WhoSay.
She goes into the specifics, saying that Davis wrote about a time when Clarkson was “hysterical sobbing” because she refused that “Since U Been Gone” be added to her 2004 “Breakaway” album. The singer-songwriter does acknowledge that an argument did breakout over the pop track, but that she and its producers fought to give a more rock-leaning sound.
“I did want more guitars added to the original demo and Clive did not. [Producers] Max [Martin], [Dr.] Luke and I still fought for the bigger sound and we prevailed and I couldn’t be more proud of the life of that song. I resent him dampening that song in any way,” she mentions.
Clarkson also concedes that she did cry in Davis’ office one time, but it was after she played a song very near and dear to her heart (“Because of You”) for him. She claims the music mogul hated it.
“[He] told me verbatim that I was a ‘sh*tty writer who should be grateful for the gifts that he bestows upon me.’ He continued on about how the song didn’t rhyme and how I should just shut up and sing. This was devastating coming from a man who I, as a young girl, considered a musical hero and was so honored to work with. But I continued to fight for the song and the label relented. And it became a worldwide hit. He didn’t include that in the book,” she writes.
While the two’s aforementioned scuffles didn’t become too public, Clarkson and Davis’ disagreements over her 2007 album, “My December” made headlines around the world. The record was written during a very dark and depressing time in Clarkson’s life, a mood which Davis thought was not commercial or pop enough to sell, so he almost shelved the project. Kelly would fight for its release.
“He also goes on to say ‘My December’ wasn’t successful because I co-penned the album and it didn’t have ‘pop hits’. Well, first let me say, I’ve co-penned many of my ‘pop hits.’ Secondly, ‘My December’ went platinum (It sold 20,000 less than ‘All I Ever Wanted’ which followed ‘My December.’) Hardly a huge failure,” she writes about the dark album’s accomplishments.
Despite her getting to release “My December,” Clarkson says the album was “sabotaged” by Davis and the poor promotion he gave the project.
“’Never Again’, the ONLY single they released in the US from that record was a Top 10 hit. I am very proud of that and I have my fans to thank. But, again, what’s most interesting about his story is what he leaves out: He doesn’t mention how he stood up in front of his company at a convention and belittled me and my music and completely sabotaged the entire project. It never had a chance to reach its full potential. My December was an album I needed to make for myself for many reasons and the fact that I was so completely disregarded and disrespected was so disheartening,” she further mentions.
Clarkson recently celebrated the tenth anniversary of her debut in music scene. Her latest album, “Stronger,” won a Grammy earlier this month for Best Pop Vocal album. While Davis’ accusations in his memoir caught her off guard, she stays humble with all the success she’s experienced since winning “American Idol” in 2002.
“Anyway, I love my job. I love my music. I love my fans. I love my label and all of my professional relationships… now. And I am grateful for Clive for teaching me to know the difference,” she ends.
Davis’ memoir, “The Soundtrack of My Life,” was released on Tuesday, Feb. 19.
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